With Catholic dioceses now seemingly taking the hint and deciding to push on with this for all catholic schools this will significantly accelerate the growth in academisation. Recent figures published suggested that out of 2,100 catholic schools, only a third of these are currently academies. So a lot of conversions are imminent!
One reason for a push from the Dioceses around the country is most likely to ensure that catholic schools are all kept together, and the preferred route appears to be forming 3 to 4 MAT’s per diocese to manage this growth. However some dioceses have already started the journey with MAT’s already established and others have yet to begin the process.
Regardless of the number of MAT’s per diocese this is going to result in some very large MAT’s with between 25 to 40 schools likely to be the typical size. History tells us that the bigger the trust then the increased likelihood of failure if not controlled.
So each MAT will need to have a clear growth plan to manage the risks, which are both financial and educational. If there is pressure to get the schools converted to quickly then we could be looking at 25 schools joining at once. Its probably much more manageable to stage this growth with 4 or 5 a year joining, and this is after establishing robust financial systems which can manage significant growth over a number of years.
The next step
Our specialists at UHY have many years of experience in guiding trusts through growth and establishing strong financial and governance procedures. Contact Stephen Grayson or your usual UHY adviser for advice.